On the Road Again

Oct. 10, 2005


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This Week ? The University of Iowa volleyball team will hit the road once again this weekend, playing a Friday match at the University of Illinois and a Saturday contest at Purdue. Both matches will start at 7 p.m.

Hawkeyes on the Web ? If you can’t follow the Hawkeyes on the road this weekend, you can still follow all of the action on www.hawkeyesports.com, where live stats will be available for every home game and select road games this season. Just click on the “gametracker” link on the schedule page.

Weekly Press Conference ? Each week, Head Coach Cindy Fredrick will host a press conference Tuesday from 11:45-12:15 p.m. at the Iowa Football Complex. The press conference precedes Iowa Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz’s weekly press gathering.

Last Week ? The Hawkeyes split a pair of Big Ten games last week, falling to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 3-0, Wednesday (30-22, 30-17 and 30-15), then defeating Indiana, 3-1 (20-30, 30-20, 30-20, 30-27), on Saturday.

In game one against Minnesota, the Hawkeyes took an early 3-2 lead before Minnesota rattled off five-consecutive points to take a lead it would never relinquish. Juniors Tiana Costanzo and Melanie Meister led Iowa with three kills each in the first game. Costanzo finished the match with a team-high six kills.

The Golden Gophers controlled game two from the outset, allowing Iowa to tie the game just once (4-4) before cruising to victory. Freshman Laura Kremer was a bright spot for the Hawkeyes in game two, getting a team-best three kills.

In the third and final game, Minnesota came out of the gates blazing and took a 7-0 lead to force Iowa into a timeout. Things got no better for the Hawkeyes after the break, and the Golden Gophers held them to their lowest point output of the season.

Against Indiana, the Hawkeyes were put on their heels early in game one when Indiana set blistering pace, hitting well over .350 for the first half of the game to take a 15-5 lead. Iowa cooled the Hoosier hitters somewhat the rest of the way, but the hole was too deep to overcome. Sophomore middle blocker Megan Gatens had a pair of kills and a team-best .667 hitting percentage in game one.

With game one still fresh in their minds, the Hawkeyes came flying out of the gates in game two and raced to a 14-4 lead. Iowa stayed on top the rest of the way, hitting .476 en-route to a 30-20 win. Catherine Smale led the way with eight kills in the game, while Stacy Vitali added five.

The Hawkeyes carried the momentum from the second game into the third, methodically pulling away from the Hoosiers. Leading 26-20, junior Jaqueline Huguelet served out Iowa’s final four points to give the Hawkeyes it’s second-straight 30-20 win. For the game, the Hawkeyes led the entire way after breaking the game’s only tie at 6-6.

Game three was a back-and-forth affair with the two teams changing leads numerous times. With the score tied at 24-24, freshman Emily Hiza served Iowa to a 28-24 lead – using a pair of aces, a Vitali kill and an Indiana error. The Hoosiers attempted a comeback, cutting the lead to 29-27, but committed a net violation to end the game and give the match to the Hawkeyes.

Road Warriors ? So far this season, Iowa has played 14-of-19 games on the road. The Hawkeyes have an 9-5 record away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The team’s next two games will be on the road, followed by a two-week homestand.

Scouting Illinois ? The Illinois Fighting Illini are 11-6 with a 2-4 mark in the Big Ten Conference.

Senior outside hitter Rachel VanMeter leads the Illini attack with 359 kills and a 5.70 per game average. Both totals lead the Big Ten Conference. She was an honorable mention all-Big Ten selection last season.

Redshirt freshman Kayani Turner has rebounded from the knee injury that kept her out all of last year to post 157 kills and a 2.80 per game average in her first collegiate action.

Illinois leads the all-time series 38-12, and has won the last five meetings. They are 19-4 in games played in Champaign.

The Fighting Illini are coached by Don Hardin, who is in his tenth season.

Scouting Purdue ? The Purdue Boilermakers are 14-3 with a 3-3 Big Ten record. They are ranked 21st by the AVCA.

The Boilermaker offense is very diversified, with five players recording over 100 kills. Freshman hitter Danita Merlau leads the way with 197 kills and a 3.49 kill per game average. Sophomore Samantha Mader follows with 157 (3.02 per game), while Stephanie Lynch has 150 (2.68 per game).

Senior all-Big Ten setter Renata Dargan is in charge of distributing the ball throughout the offense, and is averaging 13.21 assists per game. She can also join the attack herself, and has recorded 90 kills and a team-best .451 attack percentage.

Purdue leads the all-time series 34-18, with a 18-6 advantage in West Lafayette.

The Boilermakers are coached by Dave Shondell, who is in his third season.

Heading to Hostile Environments ? Iowa’s two opponents this weekend rank in the top 15 in the nation for average attendance. Purdue is ranked fifth with an average attendance of 2,845, while Illinois is No. 15 with a 1,606 average.

Hard Working Hawkeyes ? The Hawkeyes have played 72 games this season, more than any other team in the Big Ten. Indiana is second with 66. Wisconsin has played the fewest at 49.

Freshman Hitter ? Freshman outside hitter Catherine Smale leads the team with 267 kills and a 3.71 kills per game average, which is good for ninth in the Big Ten Conference.

In Big Ten play, Smale’s average jumps to 3.95 kills per game. That total is good for sixth in the conference.

Already Better Than Last Year ? The Hawkeyes have 12 wins this season, already giving them more than they had all of last year. Iowa’s 3-1 win over Indiana last Saturday gave them a 2-4 conference record, tying the number of Big Ten wins from last season.

Iowa was 10-22 with a 2-18 record in Head Coach Cindy Fredrick’s first season.

Making Them Count ? Sophomore Stacy Vitali leads the team with a .287 attack percentage. She is second on the team with 233 kills (3.24 per game).

Ironwomen ? Five Hawkeyes have played in all 72 games this season – Stacy Vitali, Catherine Smale, Tiana Costanzo, Kiley Fister and Emily Hiza.

Mess Around and Get a Triple Double ? Freshman setter Kiley Fister became the first Hawkeye since 2000 to record a triple double when she pulled the feat against UNI. The St. Charles, IL, native had 53 assists, 11 kills and 10 digs.

The last Hawkeye to record a triple double was Fabiana de Abreu, who is now an assistant coach at Texas-Pan American.

Go-to Hitter ? Outside hitter Catherine Smale’s 57 attempts against Michigan was the second-most in a four-game match in the Big Ten this season. Penn State’s Nicole Fawcett had 60 attempts in a 3-1 win over USC.

Prep All-Americans ? Three members of the Hawkeye freshman class were named high school all-Americans by PrepVolleyball.com. Kiley Fister, Catherine Smale and Emily Hiza were all honored by the website.

Take Me To Your Leader ? Junior middle blocker Melanie Meister and junior outside hitter Tiana Costanzo are the Hawkeye captains this season.

The Assistant Coaches ? Dr. Mashallah (Farokh) Farokhmanesh and Chad Hanson will serve as assistants to Head Coach Cindy Fredrick again this season. Farokh, the associate head coach, is the husband of Coach Fredrick.

Welcome Aboard ? The Hawkeye coaching staff has a new addition this year with DeAnn Woodin joining up as the programs first Director of Volleyball Operations.

Woodin will work closely with the Hawkeye volleyball staff, helping coordinate and carry out the day-to-day activities in the program.

She joins the staff after a successful run as the head coach at Kirkwood Community College. In her two seasons at the helm, she led Kirkwood to a 81-25 record, two undefeated conference seasons and the school’s first-ever NJCAA Division II National Championship in 2003.